Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Jeffrey Green


Expanding upon past research demonstrating that attachment orientation influences adult exploration, this thesis examined the impact of both actor and partner attachment anxiety and avoidance as well as real or imagined partner presence on outcomes of exploratory behavior (study 1a) and the desire to explore (study 1b). Eighty six couples were randomly assigned to explore (i.e., a meditation activity) with or without their partner in the lab, and to imagine exploring with or without their partner when rating their desire to complete potential exploratory behaviors. The effects of actor anxiety and avoidance on exploration were moderated by partner presence for both how long participants spent exploring and how they felt afterward. These are the first results demonstrating a direct effect of attachment and partner presence on exploration. These findings warrant future research to better understand the influence a partner can have on individuals’ exploration.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010

Included in

Psychology Commons